Whenever I meet someone new or talk to someone whom I haven't spoken with in a while a common subject always arises in our conversation: love. Do you have a boyfriend? How do you find Turkish men? How do they compare with Americans? are some of the questions I am asked. The elderly people are curious of possible young romances to gossip about, and the young people are eager to know who their competition is as well as what their choices are.
In Istanbul it is easy to find young couples. They're in parks, the queue for the ferry, on the metro, in the mall - everywhere. I must admit, when I came to Turkey I had assumed Public Displays of Affection (PDA) were a no-no. After being here for 5 weeks, wow! I can't believe it's been that long, I have been proven wrong. Not only is it easy to find couples, it is easy to find them kissing or even sometimes more...ew. One of the internship coordinators, Hande, told me that some families are still really conservative at home; it is hard for young couples to do anything there so they go where their families aren't: in Public. The joke is that there are couples everywhere, especially behind bushes in the parks...well...you know. It makes for an awkward Sunday stroll.
But, things like this, awkward hook-ups in the park, happen. Things like bad cab drivers that take you all over town because they want your money and as a result they make you cry also happen. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow. Anyone who has ever lived with me for an extended period of time can tell you that I stress over the small things. These 5 weeks in Turkey have taught me to roll with the punches. I still stress out about the little things in life but not as often as before. When life gives you lemons, you're supposed to make lemonade. Let me tell you, I am making lemonade and sharing it with everyone (for a small fee to really help decrease my stress of course).